As of Jan. 28, the heat is off in Saigon.
The long-running hit musical, Miss Saigon, has its final Broadway curtain Jan. 28, and speeches and farewells are expected following the sold-out matinee.
A Miss Saigon spokesperson told Playbill On-Line Jan. 26 that there are very few tickets left for performances the final weekend, and the 3 PM Jan. 28 matinee is sold out. However, there may be returns of tickets for performances that are currently sold out, so audiences should inquire at the box office. (These "returns" are company-held house seats that, if not used by the company, are released for sale to the general public.) Those specifically hoping to see Salonga should remember she does not perform at the Saturday matinee.
* Miss Saigon, at the Broadway Theatre, started the New Year with the return of its Tony Award-winning original star, Salonga, Dec. 31, beginning the final month of performances for the musical about the love among the ruins of a fallen Vietnam.
Also joining the company were Will Chase, returning as Chris, the G.I. in love with Vietnamese girl, Kim (played by Salonga); Michael K. Lee as Thuy and Ruthie Henshall as Chris' wife, Ellen. Melinda Chua is the alternate Kim (Salonga has not performed Wednesday evenings or Saturday matinees). The company also includes Luoyong Wang as the Engineer and Charles E. Wallace as John.
The smash tuner by Claude Michel Schonberg, Alain Boublil and Richard Maltby Jr. celebrated its 4,000th Broadway performance Nov. 2. At that time, I had been announced that Miss Saigon would end Dec. 31, but producer Cameron Mackintosh opted to extend the show for four weeks with Salonga, into 2001.
The musical is inspired by Madama Butterfly and sets the action in during the 1975 fall of Saigon, when American troops pulled out of Vietnam. Henshall won an Olivier Award for her work in London's She Loves Me, and was an ensemble member in London's Miss Saigon before assuming the role of Ellen there. Salonga certainly loves her signature role; she played a return stretch in the Broadway company in 1999.
Jonathan Pryce, Hinton Battle, Liz Callaway and Willy Falk, the original Broadway stars of Miss Saigon, appeared with the show's creative team (sans Boublil, who could not make it) at the 4,000th gala performance at the Broadway Theatre Nov. 2.
The 7 PM evening — packed with friends, family and industry people who have supported the show over the years, helping make it the sixth longest-running musical in Broadway history — included a full performance of the hit megamusical followed by an on-stage celebration at which producer Cameron Mackintosh spoke and announced the show's extension. Also in attendance were co-librettist Schonberg (whose Les Miserables is packing them in at the Imperial), director Nicholas Hytner, American lyricist Richard Maltby Jr. and others.
The Broadway staging of the 1989 London hit opened April 11, 1991 and became an international sensation.
For ticket information, call (212) 239-6200, and visit the website at www.miss-saigon.com.